County building evacuated after bomb threat emailed

Published 2:02 am Friday, December 14, 2018

Email demands bitcoin to stop ‘explosion’

The Covington County Administration Building was evacuated Thursday afternoon after an employee received an email threatening that there was a bomb in the facility. Similar threats were made across the country — in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Miami, Washington, DC and other locations nationwide — and the FBI said Thursday night is was not sure if the threats were connected. 

Covington County Commission Chairman Greg White said, “A threat was received by one of our employees by email. The email stated that there was a package in the administration building and that if they did not receive 25 bitcoins they would detonate the bomb.”

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.

Yesterday at 4 p.m., the value of one bitcoin was $3,261, making the total email demand $81,525.

White said that every protocol was followed to make sure that there was no danger.

“We followed protocol and evacuated everyone from the building,” White said. “The sheriff’s department did a full sweep and didn’t find any packages. They also did a sweep of the courthouse to make sure there wasn’t anything there either.”

White said that all of the county commissioners were made aware of the threat and worked closely with the sheriff’s department to ensure safety.

“We took the extra steps and made sure that all of our employees were safe,” White said.

There is always a risk of threats happening to public buildings, White said.

“Unfortunately there is always a risk of that happening at public buildings,” White said. “But we took the appropriate actions and followed protocol.”

The sheriff’s department is still investigating who sent the email.